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Lockett Range TB control successfully completed


Lockett Range TB control successfully completed

TBfree New Zealand has completed the Lockett Range aerial possum control operation in Golden Bay to protect cattle and deer herds from bovine tuberculosis (TB).

The operation is part of a wider TBfree New Zealand programme to prevent TB-infected possums from spreading out of Kahurangi National Park to neighbouring farmland and infecting cattle and deer herds with the disease.

The operation involved aerial application of cereal 1080 bait pellets over about 7000 hectares of hill country to the west of the Takaka River and south of the Anatoki River. The operation supports annual ground-based control in the area, using traps and hand-laid toxins.

TBfree New Zealand Northern South Island Programme Manager Matt Hickson said affected neighbours and land occupiers had been consulted and kept informed of the operation, and that clear warning signs had been placed at likely access points.

“Dogs owners must be extra vigilant by keeping their animals well away from areas where warning signs are present. It will not be safe for your dog to re-enter the area until all signs have been officially removed,” said Mr Hickson.

If you suspect your dog may have ingested a toxin, take it to the nearest veterinarian immediately. All local vets are aware that possum control has taken place in the area and what methods have been used.

“Dog owners have a personal responsibility to keep their animals under control at all times, particularly near operational areas,” said Mr Hickson.

Possums are the main wildlife carrier of the disease and are responsible for the majority of new herd infections in TB risk areas.

Ground-based control work, supported by aerial operations, protects the $500 million contribution pastoral production makes to the Tasman economy each year. Possum control operations also benefit the region’s native birds and forest, which are extremely vulnerable to introduced predators, such as possums, stoats and rats.

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